Wednesday 19 February 2014

Falling into the Psalter

The February page of the Cuerden Psalter shows a rather leisured 'labour of the month'; a man warming himself inside by a fire, one boot off and in his hand.  Near the bottom of the page where the Pisces roundel should be there is a circular hole instead.  

This space is the place I feel I have been inhabiting recently.  I was admitted to hospital with a raging fever and infection invading my face and I stayed there for the next twelve days.  Prior to my sojourn I was immersed in medieval images, particularly of death, as I had been reading Michael Camille's 'Master of Death: the Lifeless Art of Pierre Remiet Illuminator'.  

In November I wrote 'The first full illuminated page of the Cuerden Psalter, following the twelve calendar pages, shows the couple (for whom the Psalter was made) at the feet of the Madonna who is suckling the Christ child.  Identifying with the small kneeling figures, vulnerable in this intensely intimate moment; I enter each day acutely aware of being at the mercy of this fleeting world beyond my control, having done my best to prepare but sure only of the here and now flooding my senses.'  I now have an infinitely better understanding of what it was I was saying.

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